Why Whole Foods and Chipotle’s anti-GMO campaigning has lost my business

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A steak burrito is arranged for a photograph with a drink and bags of chips at a Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. restaurant in Hollywood, California, U.S., on Tuesday, July 16, 2013. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on July 18. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

I live in a fairly typical suburb outside of Chicago – about 50,000 people, lots of families, good schools and many strip malls. From Target to Starbucks to PF Changs, I can pretty much be anywhere in less than five minutes.

One strip mall houses three of my (former) favorite places: Orange Theory Fitness, Chipotle and Whole Foods. I could squeeze in my work-out, shop at Whole Foods to pick up food for dinner and treat myself to Chipotle about once a week for lunch (eating twice as many calories as I worked off). As a cooking teacher, I shopped at Whole Foods a few times a week. Chipotle was hands-down my daughters’ favorite fast food restaurant; if we had an evening when there wasn’t time to make dinner, it was always their first choice. It was also our go-to place on Saturday afternoon if Friday night had been particularly festive.

Now after my work-out, I defiantly walk right past Whole Foods and Chipotle. I can see my sweaty, red face reflected in the Chipotle window that now proclaims (falsely) that it’s GMO-free. I stroll through the Whole Foods parking lot on the way to my car and head to Trader Joe’s and Costco instead.

Here’s why: Up until a year ago, I would’ve been hard-pressed to tell you anything about GMOs. I might’ve been able to identify the words behind the acronym, but nothing about the technology. The first time I read a substantive article about GMOs was in the Wall Street Journal last August in a profile of Monsanto COO Brett Begamann. The piece was entitled, “Meet Mr. Frankenfood.” As a newbie to the issue, I recall wondering, ‘what’s the big deal?’ Why would anyone oppose using science to make our food better?

I miss my naiveté.

In the last several months, I’ve become an accidental activist on behalf of GMOs (you can read about how this happened on the Genetic Literacy Project website if you’re curious). What began as my criticism of the elitist food movement—celebrity chefs, food writers, organic industry executives—has morphed into a personal crusade on behalf of biotechnology because it holds such promise to help agriculture, the environment and, most important to me as a lucky and grateful American mom, millions of malnourished children around the world.

My reaction to anti-GMO advocacy ranges from frustration to exasperation to outrage. And I’m not just talking about my friends and family members who might have a negative opinion largely rooted in lack of knowledge. I’m talking about people who know better, hypocrites who choose to vilify this biotechnology to make a buck or get favorable press coverage. Folks like celebrity chef Tom Colicchio or food writer Michael Pollan, who often openly cheer for the failure of international genetically-engineered crops like Golden Rice or Bt brinjal—nutritionally enhanced food that could save or improve billions of lives of struggling children while they have no worry whatsoever whether their own children will get their next meal. Or organic industry gazillionaires like Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farms, who blames GM crop production for every ailment from miscarriages to autism. Or crank alternative health supporters like Mike Adams or Joseph Mercola. Or Dr. Oz—don’t get me started.

The last thing I will do is spend money at a store or restaurant that colludes with GMO foes. My last visit to Chipotle occurred a few days before Chipotle made its specious—and widely panned—announcement about a “Farewell to GMOs”. I won’t step foot in there anymore. The company’s holier-than-thou PR move proclaiming “Food with Integrity” struck me as the ultimate cynical marketing tactic: feign integrity while you mislead customers to believe that your food is GMO-free when it’s not (plenty to read about that ploy on the GLP website and my National Review Online piece entitled “Gimmicky Marketing Obfuscations”).

Even worse was Chipotle’s spin that it was responding to the demands of its customers. That really made me laugh aloud. I’ve spent a lot of time at Chipotle and I’d say the average customer is a 17-year-old male who wears long gym shorts, stares at his iPhone and has a penchant for $10 burritos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stuck behind the high school baseball team when barely coherent sophomores take their sweet time deciding between beans or rice. It’s nearly impossible for me to believe these same dudes are taking time away from Snapchat or ESPNs website to email Chipotle with their concerns about genetically engineered tortilla chips.

So no more barbacoa tacos for me. And while I was happy to make the sacrifice, my daughters reacted with great drama after I informed them of my decision: any future purchases at Chipotle would have to be with their own money and they’d have to catch a ride there (kinda hard for 10 and 14-year old girls). After a few weeks of pleading, they backed off and don’t seem to miss it as much as they thought they would. In fact, my teen daughter just told me she was “over it.”

Whole Foods was a bit trickier. While we have plenty of grocery stores in my town, the convenience of Whole Foods would be tough to beat. I didn’t go there to buy organic, but I did like their fresh meats and the wine/cheese/olive section (dinner!). But when I learned the grocer would label all GMOs by 2018, I was done.

In a statement announcing the plan, Whole Foods CEO Walter Robb said “we are putting a stake in the ground on GMO labeling to support the consumer’s right to know.” Whole Foods promises that its “GMO transparency initiative includes all of the food we sell,” which seems a tad hypocritical now that the company is under investigation by New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs for falsely labeling food and overcharging customers in the process. Sounds like they have other labels to worry about, doncha’ think?

The bottom line is that Whole Foods isn’t so much in favor of labels: it’s opposed to GMOs. The company’s website reads like a vociferous anti-GMO group, with an entire guide devoted to “how to shop if you’re avoiding GMOs” and referring to products with “GMO risk ingredients”—an odd description since every major science organization has found GMOs safe or safer than organic foods, which are linked to hundreds of illnesses and even deaths each year because of bacteria laced foods. Labeling genetically modified items is akin to branding the product with scarlet letters to scare off customers and entice them to buy organic goods instead (just as they planned). My wine/cheese/olive purchases are now made elsewhere.

My suburban life now goes on without Chipotle or Whole Foods. I’m certain the CEOs aren’t losing any sleep over it, but one less order of guacamole and one fewer purchase at the olive bar is all I have to express my defiance. Making these very minimal sacrifices – and teaching my daughters that sometimes you have to stand for principle – is a minor victory for me and, maybe, for GMOs.

Julie Kelly is the owner of Now You’re Cooking in Orland Park, Illinois. She is a cooking instructor and food writer, but her biggest job is being a mom. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Julie_kelly2.

  • JoeFarmer

    One thing no one seems to be talking about is Chipotle CEO Steve Ells’ dumping of his personal company stock holdings.

    He sold 41% of his Chipotle shares from 4/21/15 to 5/22/15.
    Before the dump-fest started in late April he owned 159,543 shares and by the end of May he was down to 94,633 shares.
    http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/cmg/insider-trades.

    That doesn’t seem to be much of a commitment to the “No GMO” company marketing plan, now does it?

    The market isn’t showing much love for Chipotle, either. Their stock price is down 16.1% since early February, and down 5.3% since their infamous announcement.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=CMG+Interactive#{%22range%22:%226mo%22,%22allowChartStacking%22:true}

    • Duke Steele

      Meaningless info. Insiders sell for many reasons. Tying this to the “No GMO” campaign is spurious.

      • JoeFarmer

        You don’t think a CEO dumping 40% of his holdings in one month is significant?

        • First Officer

          He is probably yelling, “Turn those machines back on !”.

          • JoeFarmer

            Clarence Beeks, Chief Marketing Officer for Chipotle was unavailable for comment…

          • Duke Steele

            Good one too.

          • Duke Steele

            Good one.

        • Duke Steele

          Not this guy. Start easing into the stock.

      • First Officer

        I’d say it has a fair part in it. Chipotle had to undergo a major effort to coordinate suppliers to have them source non-gmo growing farmers. Then they come out with the statement that they are now GMO free, with the meaning they do not make use of GMO’s in their supplies or serve them as well as their stated postion to avoid pesticides and HT crops. Well, it took about a nanosecond to shred both suppositions. Their sodas and meats still use GMO’s and the sunflower oil they now use is HT tolerant to a more toxic herbicide than glyphosate. The media got wise to this and let it be known. Fro all their efforts, they gained nothing financially and are probably on the hook for expensive supplier agreements.

        • Duke Steele

          They have always disclosed what you say, the media did not reveal them. They have had ongoing efforts on grass fed cattle etc. They are woefully wrong on GE seeds but they are a niche company like Starbucks with a loyal following mostly immune to price.

      • Warren Lauzon

        It may not be directly or totally linked to the GMO issue, but the fact is that WFM is pretty close to it’s 52 week low, down almost 30% from just a few months ago.

        • Duke Steele

          If Whole keeps going down I will ease into some stock and/or buy some DITM calls.

          • Warren Lauzon

            I considered it, but it has a lot of competition and does not have the glitter that it used to, so it might be a dormant stock for a while.

          • Duke Steele

            Competition, let’s get rid of it.

    • Toby

      Not necessarily agreeing with what his company is doing, but his recent sales were made pursuant to a 10b5-1 trading plan, which means his trades were probably programmed months or even a year or more in advance of the trade date.
      You can see it referenced on his Form 4 filings with the SEC:

      http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0001350873&type=&dateb=&owner=only&count=40

      Senior executives, board members, and insiders rarely trade in their own company’s shares spur of the moment, so you can’t really read all that much into their transactions.

    • Whip It

      Oh, and Monsanto is down 16% from their 12 month high about 5 months ago. That sounds like a solid investment. How will the stock increase significantly if all these businesses and consumers are abandoning their products and countries are making them illegal to purchase. They will be forced to reduce prodution and loose profits. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

      • JoeFarmer

        Thank goodness you’re just an anonymous poster and not a financial advisor that actually is accountable!

        • Whip It

          You seem confused, facts and financial advice are not synonyms.

  • Ben

    For the sake of consistency, wouldn’t you avoid Trader Joe’s as well? They contribute just as much to the anti-GMO and pro-organic misinformation campaign as does Whole Foods. Though, I don’t know of any systematic mislabeling/overcharging going on at TJ’s.

    • Trader Joe’s – to my knowledge and experience as a shopper – isn’t a vocal anti-GMO store. I just checked their website and nothing about GMOs. I don’t believe they contribute to pro-labeling organizations either. But if you have information to the contrary, I’d love to read it. Thanks for commenting!

      • JP

        Actually, all TJ’s products are GMO-free according to their website. If you look under FAQs at the bottom left of the page, then click on product information at the left side of the page, you’ll find the information. The first question is answered by Trader Joe’s:

        When you see our name on a label, you can be assured that the product contains:

        NO artificial flavors or preservatives

        NO synthetic colors

        NO MSG

        NO genetically modified ingredients

        NO partially hydrogenated oils (artificial trans-fats)

        NO “marketing” costs

        YES tasting panel approval

        YES quality ingredients

        YES great price

  • WeGotta

    Hypocrite.
    You use the information provided to you (from companies that aspire to be GMO-free) in order to make a personal decision on whether or not you would buy from them (you decided to boycott them).
    Why then would you not allow other people to have similar information (whether or not a product contains GMO) in order that we can make our own decisions??

    • I’m not a hypocrite…companies can market themselves in any way they want – even by misleading customers – and we then have a right to choose whether we support those marketing tactics. I do not.
      You need to understand that organic industry executives push for labeling in order to demonize GMOs, thereby boosting their bottom line. If you fail to recognize that shrewd business approach, then you’re a sucker because you think the labeling movement is actually a noble pursuit rather than a profit motive.
      You’re also a sucker if you believe Chipotle is truly GMO-free. Did the company label their soda, cheese and meats sourced from animals fed non-organic grains as “containing GMOs”? No.

      • WeGotta

        Oh but I do understand how a group, company or industry uses “marketing tactics” all too well. They lie, they use bad science, they corrupt politics, they jump on trends and try to capitalize. This just makes the argument for transparency even stronger.
        How could you possibly argue against transparency? Because some people would use this to their advantage, even in a bad way? That is going to happen NO MATTER WHAT you do.

        Because the public is too ignorant to make their own decisions? Besides being an offensive position to take, it would argue for MORE information being available, not less.
        The only “sucker” is the one who gives their complete trust to any company, industry or government to look out for their best interest.
        Yes, you are a hypocrite. You use information to make your decision but try to deny us the same right.

    • JoeFarmer

      Hilarious!

      You call the author a hypocrite, yet you’re railing on about how only one form (GM) of plant breeding should be labeled.

      • WeGotta

        When and where did I mention anything about how only one form of plant breeding should be labeled?

        • WeGotta

          It was just an example of how this hypocrite uses information to make a decision, then denies others the same right.
          It was NOT:
          A guideline of proper food labeling.
          A text on the various ways of plant breeding.
          A definition of GM.
          I think you knew this already but just wanted to be insulting.

          • WeGotta

            Ya, isn’t it great when a company voluntarily gives out important information? This allows us to make up our own minds based upon our own information.
            If only there was a way to make all companies give out important, relevant information.

          • JoeFarmer

            “This allows us…”

            So, do you represent some group?

            “If only there was a way to make all companies give out important, relevant information.”

            Sorry, FDA disagrees with you. And they know more than you. So go grow your own food. No one owes you anything.

          • WeGotta

            “So, do you represent some group?”

            I don’t “represent” any group related to this topic. But I am part of a group (humans), thus making the “us” word very applicable and correct.
            Again, I don’t care what the industry run FDA says about it.

          • JoeFarmer

            “Again, I don’t care what the industry run FDA says about it.”

            But you want government to label foods made from crops developed with GM technology.

            The government doesn’t doesn’t owe you satisfaction of your self-entitled curiosity.

          • WeGotta

            Yes. The government should do what the people want. A lot of people want to know what is in the food they eat.

            “The government doesn’t doesn’t owe you satisfaction of your self-entitled curiosity.” So do you represent government?

          • JoeFarmer

            Do you even have the tiniest understanding how the 3 branches of the Federal Government work?

          • Farmer Sue

            Really. Like, when people wanted slaves, the government should have honored that? When people voted against same-sex marriage, should the government have honored that? How about women’s voting rights – when “people” didn’t want women to vote, should the government have honored that? Should the government honor the gun nuts who shriek about background checks?

            You absolutely have no right to force inaccurate and unnecessary labels on foods that you yourself choose not to eat. Your rights end where my farm begins.

            Go back and review your history and about how the government works, by the way.

          • WeGotta

            Yes, thank you. There is definitely a need for protection of individual rights in the face of popular opinion.
            If anything, this would seem to strengthen my position though. Unless you think your right to not label something is on the same level as people’s right not to be owned.

            I am not forcing anything, just posting comments.

            If you choose to sell food to the public aren’t you subject to regulation by the government? If so, I think my rights are all over your farm.

          • Duke Steele
    • gskibum

      There are countless products labeled “Organic” and “GMO Free”. Why do you need yet another label?

      • WeGotta

        I don’t “need” anything. I am complete.
        That being said, I think it’s stupid to label things with what they don’t have instead of what they do have.

        • RJB

          Especially when the label “non-GMO verified” is incorrect and misleading.

  • Thomas Chen

    I’m all for labeling. Buying GMO means you are an ethically contientious consumer. It means you care about ending world hunger. It means you care about having a sustainable food supply that does not wreck the environment. So yes! Bring on the labels.

    • WeGotta

      Yes! Let’s keep the labeling movement going together!
      This way, we can all use the information to make our OWN decisions!!
      There are lots of ways to get involved. Start calling your representatives and tell them you have a right to know what is in your food!!

      • WeGotta

        I couldn’t care less what the FDA says about anything.
        The are just another corrupted agency that has long ago decided to protect and serve industry rather than ordinary people.
        That’s why I would like to know exactly what is in my food, how it was made and where it comes from so that I can decide myself.

        • JoeFarmer

          Spare us the conspiracy theories.

          Grow your own damn food.

          • WeGotta

            I do grow my own food!! It’s wonderful and I highly recommend it.

            Conspiracy: a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful

            I don’t think its a conspiracy. Pretty open in their practices for all to see. Revolving doors, campaign contributions, industry produced legislation, etc; it’s all pretty easy to see.

          • JoeFarmer

            Boo-hoo. Move somewhere else. You’d probably be right at home in some nanny-state country in Europe.

          • WeGotta

            I would rather live in a free country where we all get to decide things for ourselves.
            A “nanny-state” would not give out relevant information about something basic like food for worries about the poor ignorant public making bad choices with the information.
            We are in a nanny-state now in my opinion. Except the nanny is a greedy selfish bitch!

          • JoeFarmer

            Well, you live in a representative republic. Don’t like it, don’t let the door hit you.

          • WeGotta

            Those are all just words.
            We live in a country where industry has more and more power in all the branches of government and the media.
            Call it what you want. I call it stupid.

          • You do? You grow all of your own food? Please, tell me how and what you eat.

          • WeGotta

            Oh, clever little girl tried to slip the word “all” in there.
            I said I do grow my own food, not all my own food.
            My diet is not relevant in this discussion. I was just responding to Joefarmer.

        • Jackson

          I couldn’t care less what the FDA says about anything. The are just another corrupted agency that has long ago decided to protect and serve industry rather than ordinary people.

          That is an interesting position. With mandatory labels, who do you want to oversee the enforcement of the labeling?

          • WeGotta

            An informed group of consumers maybe?

          • Jackson

            OK. So you would create a new government agency, and fill it with people appointed by who? Or would they be voted in by a national election?

          • WeGotta

            Definitely not!
            I do see your point.

            What ever agency gets oversight would soon be bombarded by industry and lobby groups. As long as money=free speech and money buys political influence, there will be problems.
            That’s why I would like to see simple labels just stating facts without any claims. What it is, what are the ingredients, how it was made, where it came from.
            Once value judgments are made (such as any health claim) it gets muddy.
            That being said, it doesn’t really affect me all that much. I know my health is important and worth some time and research.

      • Please explain the labeling process, who would oversee and who would pay? Since you’re a labeling expert, please illuminate us about how this would work on a large scale.

        • WeGotta

          Who said I’m a labeling expert?
          I see labels on food now. Lot’s of words, pictures, colors.
          Just keep doing it this way except include information that a lot of people want to know.
          What is so wrong about that? Does someone need to be an expert in order to have an opinion? Are you an elitist as well as a hypocrite?

          • No I don’t think anyone needs to be an expert but you present yourself as knowledgeable about the labeling process. Please go to the Non-GMO Project website and review their verification process. It’s very timely and costly. And also, please tell me why you oppose GMOs in general.

          • WeGotta

            I oppose GMO for multiple reasons.
            1. My health.
            2. The environment.
            3. Social justice.
            4. Community.

          • JoeFarmer

            All four of your reasons are based in ignorance. Can’t really say I’m surprised, given your posts on this thread.

          • WeGotta

            Your “new” personality is quickly becoming tiresome and boring.
            You comments are long on attacks, insults and nastiness but short on anything interesting.

    • Mark Smith

      You haven’t written on verifiable fact in your entire statement.

  • mkassowitz

    Thanks. With the supply-side issues for organic food, with so much of our farmland polluted by chemicals and GMOs, it is good to know that you will not be buying food the the majority of the US public actually want. I appreciate your self-sacrifice. Leaves more for those of us who want clean food. I’m sure that once more farmland is converted back to organic an more urban ag operations producing organics have remedied the supply issues, that there will still be a stash of Twinkies preserved somewhere for you.

    • WeGotta

      Oh jeez,
      Now the evil organic lobby is a small non-important little niche market that nobody wants.
      Seems like other times it’s a huge monster who wants to crush the poor GMO companies with their onerous labeling requirements.

      • Duke Steele

        Here is the pure, unaltered food you have been eating for decades.

        http://www.science20.com/kevin_folta/atomic_gardening_ultimate_frankenfoods-91836

        • mkassowitz

          Sure there’s lots of science sponsored and approved by Monsanto saying their products are safe. Meanwhile WHO, which has no skin in the game sames glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Hugh Grant predictably calls that “junk science.” Monsanto ruthlessly suppresses any science that does not toe their PR line. Sorry, by Science2.0 is just another biotech mouthpiece like this site.

          • JoeFarmer

            “Sure there’s lots of science sponsored and approved by Monsanto saying their products are safe.”

            What about this, genius?
            https://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/pdf/a_decade_of_eu-funded_gmo_research.pdf

            Tell us what you know about the deregulation process for a GM crop.

          • Duke Steele

            Good stuff.

          • gskibum

            Glyphosate isn’t a GMO.

            Regarding the IARC status of a Group 2A probably carcinogenic to humans, that is in the context of occupational exposure of high concentrations by manufacturers and those who work in agriculture. You know, those who may come in direct contact with it.

            In context, alcohol and sunlight are Group 1 known carcinogens to humans. So are oral and hormonal contraceptives. Yet I doubt you’ve got anywhere near the outrage over craft beers and contraceptives as you do over glyphosate.

            Diesel exhaust and sawdust are also Group 1 known carcinogens. Yet I doubt you have any outrage over carpenters driving their diesel trucks to work.

            Acrylamide is also a Group 2A probable carcinogen. Yet I bet you are opposed to the new low-acrylamide GMO potatoes that have nothing to do with Monsanto.

            Your brainwashing reveals itself.

          • Warren Lauzon

            “.. Monsanto ruthlessly suppresses..”. How does it do that, exactly? And why do you believe all the pseudoscience sites and none of the actual ones?

          • Duke Steele

            So what sites have good science on GMO that you rely on?

          • Duke Steele

            What scientific site do you rely on for your GMO info?

          • Duke Steele

            You do not have a single scrap of a link for the “Monsanto ruthlessly suppresses any science…” . Show us that ‘ruthless suppression kass.

          • Duke Steele

            Speak up mkassowitz!! Show us your links that say Monsanto “ruthlessly suppresses any science that does toe their PR line.”

    • How do GMOs pollute farmland?
      And how do you feel about imported grains like corn and soybeans from China, Turkey and Romania? Those are safer than genetically modified grains here in the US?

      • WeGotta

        Why would you not want food from other countries Julie?

        • JoeFarmer
          • WeGotta

            Typical article with a bunch of false logic.
            It even states “Importation as such is not the problem.” which nullifies it as being a relevant article about food from other countries, don’t you think?
            The only thing it might say is that demand is high for non-GMO food and people are scrambling and possibly cutting corners to provide it.
            I love the little bit at the bottom though about organic corn and nutrition. Shows the author’s bias on the issue.

          • WeGotta

            Some “organic” food is contaminated, therefore all “organic” food is dangerous. FALSE
            Some “organic” food is contaminated, therefore all “non-organic” food is safe. FALSE

          • WeGotta

            I’m glad he at least labeled his false logic as such.
            Labeling is a good thing.

          • WeGotta

            Now your logic is false. You say he agrees with my statement, then you claim I’m full of shit.

          • WeGotta

            Your forced argument is cloudy and I have forgotten what your point even was.
            The new JoeFarmer sure is angry!!
            Why don’t you switch to organic? It’s all the rage apparently.

          • JoeFarmer

            So, you’ve outed yourself as a sockpuppet.

            Congratulations, it’s just a matter of time now…

          • WeGotta

            Outed myself as a sockpuppet?? WTH is that??
            It’s just a matter of time until what?
            You are more angry and more weird since last we spoke.

          • Duke Steele

            WeGotta, I commend you for reading it.

        • Importing organic grains from China (look at that country’s food safety record for starters) or Turkey when those crops are plentiful here is crazy simply because they’ve been harvested from GE seeds. You’re telling me you trust organic animal feed from Romania more than from US farmers?

          • WeGotta

            Nope. I’m telling you I trust the most locally grown food I can get. Seems like you sort of agree.
            I definitely don’t trust a giant agrobusiness to provide me with the most healthy, nutritious food I can get (or to provide me with the information I would need to make a good decision).

          • I respect people’s choices in our food supply and think different options are healthy both physically and economically. I don’t like the demonization of conventional farming or GMOs by the organic industry, particularly because it has far-reaching consequences to much needed crops in developing countries. Please read the annual letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation about GM crops’ potential in poor countries. They obviously aren’t in it for the money, they’ve been on the ground, talked to farmers and realize the huge benefit of GM crops.
            If organic really is best (and it’s not proven to be for the environment, health or nutrition) those companies should be able to market their products without vilifying other industries. Also, keep in mind many organic companies have been purchased by “Big Food” in recently years.

          • WeGotta

            We have enough food now to feed the world. We lack the will.
            We have had GM for a long time and we are no closer to feeding the hungry.
            It’s the same magical thinking that some have about religion. In the future things will be better if we only have faith.
            There is no future, only now.

            And where do the vast majority of GM crops end up?
            1. Animal feed.
            2. Junk food.
            Hardly making a dent in world hunger.

          • Jason Max

            Nonsense: “We have had GM for a long time and we are no closer to feeding the hungry.”

            We have made incredible progress feeding the world over the past several decades–in 1990 there were about 5 billion people on earth, and about 1 billion, or 20%, were malnourished (so we were able to produce enough food to adequately feed about 4 billion). Today there are about 7 billion people, and only about .8 billion, or 11% are malnourished. So, we’ve reduced the total number of malnourished people by 200 million, and increased the number of people we can feed to 6.2 billion. That’s a >50% increase in food production in 25 years. Thanks GMOS!

            http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm#Number_of_hungry_people_in_the_world

          • WeGotta

            I think we may be motivated by the same thing. Some sort of sense of justice (or rather injustice) related to food.
            You seem to see only two sides, “conventional farming” and “organic” companies, “elites” or “big food”.
            All the things you could accuse one side of, you could say the same about the other. They lie, cheat and manipulate data in order to get more money. This is prevalent in our culture and seems to be getting worse.
            The answer is for more of us to get involved and take an interest. This also means getting all the information we can out in the light for a long-overdue conversation about our health and our lives.
            I see sick people every day. The vast majority of them are sick because of their poor diets. Most people in this country will suffer and die from preventable diet related diseases.

            I don’t see how GM is addressing any of this growing corn and soy for junk food.

      • mkassowitz

        One word: glyphosate. Want this on your food? Big M says its perfectly safe. Even people who claim that it is safe don’t really believe it: https://youtu.be/ovKw6YjqSfM

        • WeGotta

          Such a negative tone you have developed.
          Farming not going well?

          • WeGotta

            Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
            Ralph Waldo Emerson

          • Warren Lauzon

            Was Ralph a farmer?

          • WeGotta

            I don’t think he was.

        • Duke Steele

          Every scientific society says it is safe.

          • WeGotta

            The Society of the Concerned Scientist of America (SCSA) says it’s not safe.

          • RJB

            Can you please provide the URL for this organization? Thanks!

          • JoeFarmer

            “WeGotta” is a troll. Pretty sure she is same person as “rel0627” who got banned last week…

          • Duke Steele

            Trolls are ok.

          • Duke Steele

            Gotta, link?

          • WeGotta

            Not yet. It is a new society.

          • Duke Steele

            Ok. The point Gotta is that glyphosate is safe, and safer than the alternatives. The WHO reclassification from 2b to 2a has been roundly denounced. The WHO group made the announcement but will not release the body of work for almost a year. Two other groups in WHO disagree. Sunlight and alcohol are Class 1 carcinogins. Coffee is 2b.

          • WeGotta

            All you can really say (if you want to be scientific about it) is:
            The people who have done controlled laboratory studies on rats (and maybe rabbits and fish), using precise doses of certain compounds found in glyphosate have produced data. They say these data show there is no change in certain measurable qualities of these animals over a certain period of time as compared to a control group.
            This is a far cry from the claim that “glyphosate is safe”.
            Know what I mean?

          • Duke Steele

            Oh, and the Society has not produced a study.

          • WeGotta

            That’s the one. You know it?

          • WeGotta

            You said “every scientific society says it is safe”. Not “every scientific study that has produced a study says it is safe”.
            Do all “scientific societies” produce “studies”? I don’t know.

        • Organic crop production uses plenty of herbicides and pesticides as well. Glyphosate is a red herring. It’s been used safely for decades with no ill effects.

        • al smith

          LOL One word? that is so scientific

      • Mark Smith

        Julie- Can you define astroturf for us? It will clarify a lot and you won’t have to put up with pesky facts or people that dare to decent from anything you write. AAAAAnd you still get a paycheck.

        • Dare to decent? What does that mean? Or did you mean dissent? And I don’t get paid from anyone, thanks.

        • Check his other comments….I don’t listen to anyone who refers to people in our military as “stupid kids who couldn’t get a job.”

    • And please tell me what you eat on a regular basis. I’ll bet you’re eating GMOs and don’t even know it.

      • WeGotta

        Yep. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were clearly labeled so that mkassowitz could make an informed decision like you get to make?

        • hyperzombie

          You can make an informed decision now, just buy Organic and or Non GMO labeled foods.

      • mkassowitz

        Thanks for making the case for GMO labeling on a site that opposes it for companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow, etc. http://justlabelit.org

        • WeGotta

          Thanks for the link! I was not aware of that site. Looks great!

        • hyperzombie

          Why do you want GMOs labeled when you dont buy anything but organic?

          • heavyhanded

            Hey video boy , tells us about nonhyperzombie!

          • hyperzombie

            Hmmm???

          • heavyhanded

            Video boy don’t play dumb.

          • hyperzombie

            What are you talking about? Nonhyperzombie, does not exist in discus.

          • heavyhanded

            Of course it does ,you set it up.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “nonhyperzombie”
            must be a sluggish Zombie

          • heavyhanded

            Did you confirm that?

          • Michael McCarthy

            confirm what? That a non-hyper zombie would be sluggish? I would think that would be obvious when sluggish is an antonym of hyper.

          • heavyhanded

            Why are you commenting?

          • Michael McCarthy

            Because I can. What is your excuse?

          • Michael McCarthy

            “You get paid for your crap statements”
            I wish. A bit soon to play the shill card, isn’t it? Predictable, but rather abrupt.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Why do you shills repeat statements?”
            Nope, I do it so when your asinine comments get vaporized, people can still understand what my comment is in reference to. Still playing that shill card? You should look for some new material. Or maybe take up reading, you can get pop-up books delivered to your house now so you don’t have to pretend they’re for a kid anymore when you’re at the bookstore.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “All you little shills do it , that’s part of the procedure . Let me tell you mikey get a job!”
            If I was a shill, wouldn’t that qualify as a job? Why yes, it would. But, it isn’t my job, so…
            Got anything of value to actually post, or just more baseless shill accusations from your conspiracy addled mind?

    • mkassowitz

      Thanks for amplifying my point. Organic may be only 4% of the market, but the growth is undeniable. And this is scaring the crap out of Monsanto. More and more companies are actually doing what is called smart marketing. They listen to what their customers want: http://robynobrien.com/monsantos-real-fear-food-companies-listening-to-their-customers/

      • Harper33

        why do people think Monsanto is like the God of GMO’s and they wouldn’t exist without Monsanto? Like are you this outraged over DuPont too? Serious question.

      • Jason Max

        GMOs are growing a lot faster than organics: http://isaaa.org/resources/publications/pocketk/16/default.asp

      • Jason Max

        And if you care about the environment, organic methods are a particularly bad option, because they produce about 35% less food per acre: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7397/full/nature11069.html

        So, if we commit to organics, we either accept that billions of people will starve, or we cut down basically every forest on earth for more farm land. Which option do you prefer?

      • Warren Lauzon

        That shows your ignorance of what Monsanto does. You might be shocked to know that Monsanto also sells seeds to organic farmers.

    • Duke Steele

      Right. Organic is actually hurting people on a tight budget. If one can easily afford it, no problem.

    • Duke Steele

      Here is the food you and the public have been eating whether it is organic,GM, or conventional.

      http://www.science20.com/kevin_folta/atomic_gardening_ultimate_frankenfoods-91836

    • Michael McCarthy

      “with so much of our farmland polluted by chemicals and GMOs, it is good to know that you will not be buying food the the majority of the US public actually want.”

      How does that clearfield resistant sunflower oil taste? Better or worse than the glyphosate resistant soy oil?

    • Duke Steele
  • WeGotta

    Cliff notes in case you don’t want to read the whole article:
    I am a privileged person who can get just about any food I want (list of a grocery store and fast foods as an example).

    I used to shop at whole foods and Chipotle, but now I don’t
    Here’s why: I used to know nothing about the food I eat until just this year [now I know everything].
    I started to pay attention at first because some celebrity cook said some things that made me mad and that person was also anti-GMO. Lot’s of other people also are against GMO and they say stuff and make money from it. This includes Chipotle who’s employees are using PR and marketing to persuade people to eat at their restaurants.
    People who visit Chipotle are stupid, look silly and their opinions don’t matter.
    Whole Foods is misleading people in a sinister attempt to get them to buy organic instead. Their customers’ opinions also don’t matter because they are stupid.
    Organic is dangerous: {Link to article where people in Africa and Southeast Asia got sick because industrial feed lot manure was used as fertilizer and sickened people who did not wash the food.}
    I don’t shop at Whole Foods or Chipotle [or Trader Joe’s] anymore and I don’t miss it.

    • Nailed it.

      • WeGotta

        Thanks. I am a part time editor.

        • Then you should know it’s CliffsNotes. Just sayin’

          • WeGotta

            Noun[edit]
            cliff notes
            A summary of a much longer work designed to allow a student to quickly learn the key points of the longer work.
            Language is always changing, like everything else.

        • And I’d still love your analysis about refusing GM crops like Golden Rice and Bt Brinjal to poor nations. I mean, since you’re so committed to social justice and all…

          • WeGotta

            Still?
            I think “poor nations” (and us) would do a lot better if we gave freely to them without any expectations.
            Unfortunately, these “technological gifts” come with a heavy cost in the form of debt, pollution, and other trade agreements that benefit the already wealthy.
            Let’s say we start a movement to give all money spent by Ag Industry on lobbying our government, fighting public opinion and advertising to these poor nations in order that everyone has land to farm?

          • You keep demonstrating your arrogance and ignorance on this subject. The mere fact you think giving money away will solve international agricultural problems with pests, crop diseases and hostile growing climates really underscores your lack of knowledge and intellectual curiosity. Watch this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05yy6k4 and then you explain how US lobbying money will help Bangladeshi farmers more than accessibility to GM crops like Bt brinjal.

          • WeGotta

            Where did I say that “giving money away will solve international agricultural problems”?
            You seem to only hear what you want to hear.
            There are already solutions to pests, crop diseases and hostile growing climates. Solutions that don’t require contracts, poisons, incurred debt, environmental degradation and destruction of local cultures.
            Talk about arrogance. You are the one advocating that only we, with our technology, can swoop into another country and culture and save the poor savage 3rd world.
            Talk about arrogance. You are the one so sure that mankind can “solve” the world’s problems with more of the same technology that is wrecking it.
            Talk about arrogance. You are the one who ridicules and talks down to people after only studying any of this for less than a year.

  • Jaq

    Julie, hate to break it to you, but Trader Joe’s has declared itself “GMO-Free”.

    • Yes, a few people have informed me the TJ brand is GMO free (although, just partially as it appears the TJ website has a few disclaimers to that point). I guess my only caveat about TJs is that I’m not aware of any direct funding from TJs parent company to pro-labeling organizations, their stores are “lecture-free” zones about GMOs and the website is largely free of anti-GMO rhetoric. Most TJ shoppers I know shop there because the prices are so reasonable and the seasonal products are good (think pumpkin and peppermint). But thanks for letting me know!

  • gskibum

    I’m solidly in the pro-GMO camp.

    I have never set foot in a Chipoltle and never will.

    I did used to buy a decent portion of my groceries at Whole Foods. Now it’s down to just cheese and meats. Although the meats I have largely changed over to a locally owned store.

    I can’t stand to drink cow’s milk. It just grosses me out being so phlegmy. Over the years I have taken a liking to Rice Dreams rice milk, but they now have a GMO project label so I can’t with conscience purchase their products anymore. I’m now looking for an alternative to use in my morning cereals, both hot and cold.

    • WeGotta

      That’s great. You use a label in order to decide whether or not you want to consume some food.
      Why not grant everyone the same right? Let’s label things so that we all can make up our own minds about what we put in our bodies.

      • Harper33

        There already are labels- companies like Rice Dream who use the GMO project label & anything organic. You can avoid GMO’s efficiently with those no?

        • WeGotta

          Yes, for sure. Things get done one way or another so no big deal.

          I just think it makes more sense to label food as having some thing or quality rather than not having some thing or quality.
          If a lot of people want to know if a food was grown in a certain way or in a certain place and they want to see it on a label, why not?
          Why hide it if it is so good?

          • Soldiermedic

            The problem is that mandatory labelling feeds into the unsupported fear that many people have about GMO. The government rarely requires labelling of safe products, so therefore people associate mandatory labelling with warning labels, and therefore avoid those products. It also raises the costs of production, and acts as free advertising for the pseudoscientific organic manufacturers.

          • WeGotta

            I wouldn’t go so far as calling the fears “unsupported”. Is it that the public can’t know because they don’t understand?
            To hold information from people who don’t understand seems counterproductive. It seems they should need more information.
            The government has a very poor track record in deciding what is safe or not so I don’t really care what they say. Most of them are corrupted by money anyway so who really knows?
            As far as the costs, I doubt it would be a problem. I form this opinion from having seen many label changes in my lifetime. From new colors, new mascots, new claims, and new improved formulas, they frequently change labels.

          • Soldiermedic

            It is completely unfounded, there is no science to the contrary. The vast majority of scientist and all credible scientific research state that GMO are completely and utterly safe, not just the government, but 88% of all American Scientist agree, including nearly 100% of agricultural scientist and the vast majority of biologist. As for bringing up the governments failures on salt and fats, what you should review is the true history, because the scientist were saying even back then that there was not enough science to support the food guidelines, but politicians, mainly democrats at the time (I say that because congress was overwhelmingly controlled by democrats when the guidelines came out) pushed ahead with the guidelines despite the science. Mandatory labelling would be the same as the mistaken food guidelines and cause more harm than good. Most Americans lack a simple understanding of genetics, and I have actually heard people who are anti-GMO state we should not eat anything with DNA. Labelling would only support these luddites and not give the people any new information or better understanding of the science. BTW 89% of scientist in the USA support man-made global warming, so the support for GMO safety is the same level as support for anthropogenic climate change.

          • WeGotta

            I have heard all the statistics and read a lot of the studies and talked to a lot of people. I still claim that it’s NOT “completely unsupported”.
            Science changes as new information is learned. Take for example glyphosate. To say that scientists agree that eating glyphosate is safe only means that glyphosate has been proven to be safe in some animals who receive the tested dose. That says nothing to me about how it may affect my health since I am not a rat, I am not getting the tested dose, and I am not living in a controlled laboratory environment.
            Call me crazy if you want but I have seen too many examples of plain bad science, especially when there is a lot of money at stake. I’d rather just not eat it.

            I never mentioned salts and fats, but that is a good example. There are many more dangerous examples of things that were once thought to be safe and now are not. Many actively pushed by government at the behest of people wanting to make money. To say that the cozy relationship between industry and the FDA does not cause any scientific bias is naive in my opinion.

            Information gathering is one of the most important aspects of science so I would not want to stifle any of it because some people don’t understand some things. I understand perfectly well and I would like to see a label. If not, no big deal. The arguments against only make sense if you were trying to hide something or were afraid of what you were selling. Let the sunshine it. Things should be open and clear.

            You mentioned man-made global warming. I find that interesting in that many of the people who use science to say GMO is safe also deny the science that global warming is man made.

            You mention democrats. I can’t see the difference between democrats and republicans on many important things.

          • Soldiermedic

            I am an agricultural scientist, and I have no problem feeding it to my children. That should be all the proof you need, when the experts in the field feel safe eating it themselves and feeding it to their families what better proof of safety do you need. Also, organic uses pesticides that are known carcinogens, whereas glycophosphate might be a carcinogen in extremely high doses (greater than what you can consume) and considering it has been around for decades, it is more than rat studies that support its safety, humans have been consuming it for decades with no health concerns definitively linked to it. Round up has been commonly used since the 1980s. If there were a smoking gun, it would have been discovered in 30+ years of use.

          • WeGotta

            Sounds “sound” to me. Eat away. I fully support you and your work and hope with all my heart that you and your family are safe and healthy.
            I think it way more important to eat a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other simple foods than to worry about the other stuff.
            I eat a little GM foods too. What the hell, life is short right?
            I also think I should have a right to know what is in my food, how it was made and where it comes from. I accomplish this by growing some myself and buying from local farmers whom I know by name. None of them use pesticides by the way.
            I think things like pesticides are “stressors”. Others might include lack of sleep, lack of exercise, poorly nutritious food, obesity, depression, tobacco, alcohol, stress, etc. When there are too many stressors we have more chance for disease. So I try and limit my stressors.

          • Duke Steele

            None of them use pesticides. I do not believe it. How about a link or two about ‘no pesticide farming’ please.

          • WeGotta

            Thanks Duke.
            It should have read “petroleum-based” pesticides.
            They do in fact use pesticides on occasion in the form of home made mixtures of soaps, peppers, garlic and olive oil.
            I don’t use any on the food I grow for myself which includes over 15 herbs and spices, limes, coconuts, kale, peppers, banana, melon, comfrey, blueberries and strawberries. Adding more soon!
            Thanks for calling me out!

          • Soldiermedic

            Oh and I have read you other posts, and you completely bat guano crazy, tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, so don’t waste my time by responding, because science doesn’t support you stand just crazy pseudoscience and innuendos unsupported by any actual facts.

          • WeGotta

            Whoa!
            Okay. Have a nice day!

          • Good4U

            What do you think about the Innate(R) potato? Or the Arctic(R) apple? Do you think they should be labeled? They are genetically modified, yet they don’t have anything added to their genome via transgenics. They have genes that are silenced, i.e. deleted. Should they be labeled as GMOs even though they have things taken out that if present would cause excessive rates of spoilage and waste?
            What about GMOs in which toxic substances have been deleted, substances which commonly appear in non-GMOs? Should the ones with less toxins be labeled as GMOs too?
            If you say yes to the above, have you even remotely contemplated the perverseness of such a position?

          • WeGotta

            Actually, I say I don’t really care about any of those details.
            It’s only an issue to me when:
            SOME people try to deny the right
            of OTHER people to know
            ANY and EVERY detail that they could EVER possibly want to know
            about the food they eat.
            ESPECIALLY when people’s rights are being opposed by any entity/group/corporation/government that stands to financially gain by SUPPRESSING said rights.
            That’s why greed is listed as one of the 7 deadly sins. To warn us.

          • Duke Steele

            People can read, why shout? You would not shout in a face to face conversation, right?

          • WeGotta

            What exactly is an “excessive rate of spoilage” for an apple anyway? Who determines what that is and why?
            Why do you consider a spoiled apple “waste”?

          • Duke Steele

            Good stuff you’ve been writing.

          • Soldiermedic

            Thank you.

      • gskibum

        1. I was able to make an informed decision without mandated labels. Funny how that works.

        2. We don’t label goods based on curiosity. My desire to know if crops are harvested with yellow farm equipment in no way justifies mandated labels. The almost monolithic consensus of the scientific community concludes that GMO products on the market are safe.

        Are you also an anti-vaccer? Do you also oppose fluoridation of municipal water supplies?

        • WeGotta

          1. An “informed decision” specifically implies that the decision was based on information. You were able to make your decision based upon certain information being available. Whether from labels or not, I would like to have the same right.
          2. We label goods with the information that groups of people have decided is important. That’s all. We don’t consult the oracle. So if a group of people decide they want this information, why not? Just because you disagree?
          2.1. I don’t care what other people say about the safety. Why? Because time and time again we have been told by experts that something was safe (or even recommended) only to find out it was not.
          Science can be bad, biased, and/or just plain wrong. Especially in this culture. Scientific certainty, like religious certainty, I find highly suspect.
          2.2. I fully support vaccines. With my own observation and study I can see the triumph they have been for human suffering.
          Most were developed during a period when scientists worked for the people instead of industry. Their important contributions were not patented and thus were made widely available to everyone, increasing the chances of success.

          • gskibum

            1. Organic and “Non-GMO” are sufficient for people who desire to avoid GMO.

            2. We don’t mandate food labels based on philosophical or idealogical concerns, only on concerns grounded in science. The anti-GMO crowd has got butkus in the realm of science, which is why you skirt the issue of the consensus of the worldwide scientific community on the safety and nutrition of GMO crops.

            3. So you trust science in some areas, but not others. You are as intellectually consistent as the Food Babe or Mercola.

          • WeGotta

            1. Yes, they are for me. Especially since I don’t eat prepackaged junk food thereby almost assuring I will never eat GMO. BUT, if a lot of people want to see the label, why not?

            2. I am not skirting anything. A lot of scientists say a lot of stuff. I would rather make my own decisions since:
            a) Science is not infallible. Today’s “safe” has frequently become tomorrow’s “unsafe”.
            b) Science is polluted by ideology, money and politics.
            c) I don’t need to eat it, so why take the risk?

            3. Yes. I trust science in some areas and not others. I trust some people and not others. I am my own free agent with the faculty to make my own decisions. Blind trust in science is actually the opposite of science and more like religion. So I will keep a healthy dose of skepticism.

            P.S. I don’t know what “Food Babe” or “Mercola” is.

          • Duke Steele

            If you drink a sweet beverage it has GMO’s.

            And just so you will know, this is the food you specially pick out to eat. Regards, Duke

            http://www.science20.com/kevin_folta/atomic_gardening_ultimate_frankenfoods-91836

          • WeGotta

            That is definitely true! I avoid sweet beverages.
            My favorite drink went from Coke to Diet Coke to Coke Zero and to water a while ago.
            As far as your last comment, I am aware.
            Cheers!

    • kathryn evans

      Try Fairlife milk–it may be the answer for you

      • gskibum

        Actually Kathryn you’ve got my interest in this Fairlife piqued! I’m going to check it out ASAP.

  • peterbuilt

    Funny part about the anti-Monsanto crowd is they will soon be devouring Monsanto’s superior fresh tomatoes and peppers engineered the new fashion way- genomic selection. No GMO, all organic, artificially selected to be disease and pest free while having iloutstanding aroma and taste. I wonder if they will cheer or jeer when they find out.

    • picollo

      Funny part is we’ll be cheering when Monsanto ends.

    • picollo

      Funny part is we’ll be cheering when Monsanto ends.

  • Leon Bird

    I agree, we must stand for science and truth.It is the rich racist Liberals who discourage the poor from third world countries from the benefits of “Golden Rice” literally causing them to go blind.

    • Dave Ottens

      Rich racist liberals? Please amplify.

      • Leon Bird

        Because there bellies are full they reject the science that more greatly benefits the poor. They look to feel good positions over practical solutions. Organic farming with it’s reliance on cultivation of the soil is more harmful to the environment, but this is not the “cause celeb” being “green” is. 100,000 dark skinned Egyptians will go blind for lack of the beta carrageen in the GMO golden rice, and millions of Africans will go hungry because they will not use US donated corn at the urging of Liberal European Green Activist.(Who have full bellies and good eye sight) need I go on.

  • Hutman2

    Well done Julie!!!

    A long overdue voice of reason among the endless din of INSANE anti science GMO hating noise we have to listen to everyday.

    • picollo

      GMO noise? Hah, poor sap.

    • picollo

      GMO noise? Hah, poor sap.

  • Look787

    While the author is worried about GMO’s, and obviously can afford to shop at high-end stores. I have to go where my wallet takes me. I defy anybody on the planet to show me one person who died shopping at Winco, Safeway, or even Walmart.

    • Wal-Mart is by far the country’s largest grocery store, plenty of people shop there each day, no confirmed deaths to my knowledge. Keep in mind that many of the culinary elite (celeb chefs, food writers) disparage Wal-Mart for a variety of reasons. I shop at many different stores including my local grocery store.

      • WeGotta

        “Young father John Crawford was shot and killed by police this week at a Wal-Mart store in Ohio, because he was apparently carrying around a toy gun that was available for purchase in the store.”
        Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-kill-man-walmart-toy-gun-bystander-dies-incident/#5RQiEAj2oKHFeBrH.99

        “Just sayin'”

        • JoeFarmer

          That’s about as pertinent as:
          http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

          • WeGotta

            Very pertinent.
            Julie Kelly: ” plenty of people shop there each day, no confirmed deaths to my knowledge”.
            She obviously lacks knowledge.

          • JoeFarmer

            You’re a troll. Go somewhere else.

          • JoeFarmer

            Uh-huh.

            You created your disqus account yesterday. Every post you’ve made has been on this thread.

            You’re a sockpuppet for someone that got booted here. Probably “rel0627”.

            How about we let the moderator decide who you are?

          • WeGotta

            Nope. I am same person that wanted to come see your farm. But you revoked your invitation after your little quiz about how someone could die from sucking on the application nozzle.
            You receive support from industry. Be proud and tell us all it is true!

          • If you read your posted article as well as you read GMO information, no wonder you’re confused and ill-informed. He wasn’t carrying a “toy gun” it was an MK-177 (.177 caliber) BB/Pellet Rifle that he was waving around the store, enough to frighten employees who called the police.
            And the point of my post was that people haven’t died from shopping at Wal-Mart. But again, you miss the point intentionally.

          • WeGotta

            Oh Julie, tsk tsk.
            You have at least twice pointed out little mistakes on prior comments (one from me). Now you are not interested in accuracy?
            Your statement implied that no one dies at walmart. Obviously people do.
            Maybe it’s not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of precision?
            I bet lot’s of people die from shopping at walmart. Like a traffic accident on the way home.
            Are you specifically talking about dying from the food at walmart? That too would be wrong to believe, since the vast majority of Americans die from diet related disease.
            Typical from people like you to always accuse others of the very thing you speak from, in this case confusion.
            And your comment strengthens my assertion that you are a hypocrite.

          • Panoptes

            You know, most of your posts here are actually fairly intelligent and coherent, even if I disagree with your assertions, so I hope I am correct that this comment was meant to be facetious and not serious, as the context makes it pretty obvious Julie meant she has never heard of anyone dying from food from Wal-Mart or similar stores attributable to their GM-derived nature.

            I do think you raised an excellent point in an earlier post about GM-derived foods not exactly helping the obesity epidemic. GMO’s are not a silver bullet to solve all our health and diet woes by any means. At the same time, I would also argue GMO’s can be an important tool in the toolbox to meet the challenges of affordable food choices. They do help keep food costs down and contribute to a more predictable and stable food supply. Our choices of what we eat and allow our kids
            to eat is another issue. Most GM-derived foods today come from GM cereal crops. As more GM fruits and vegetables hit the market, hopefully these more nutritious choices will become more affordable to low-income families.

            There is a social justice angle that you and Julie are hitting on that I am pleased to see that is too often ignored on these kinds of message boards. My view is that it is nice when you live in a rich country and can afford to pay a premium for less efficient but more luxurious goods like SUVs, designer clothes or in this case, “organic” food. If you are one of the 1.2 billion people in a rich, developed country, hey, good for you. Consider yourself blessed to have that option if you can afford it.

            But there are 5.9 billion people living in poorer, developing countries that want to eat, too. The poverty in many of these countries is beyond
            anything most in the US have ever witnessed. I have seen first-hand the benefit of GM crops
            that produce higher yields, are more drought resistant, mitigate soil erosion and are more economical by requiring less quantities and less expensive pesticides and herbicides. The quality of life of millions has been improved by
            adopting GM crop use, especially in Latin America, where I spend considerable time. Food costs there can make up 40% of household budgets where it tends to be around 15% in developed nations, less in the US. The opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives is very real in LatAm.

          • WeGotta

            What a nice, polite and organized comment!
            I made the walmart comment only because she “broke the glass” by assuming a righteous tone in her pointing out other people’s mistakes.

            It is nice to be alive and to live in such a blessed place. When I count my blessings, they typically include things like love, happiness, peace, health, friendship, and family.
            I believe my body is my temple and the earth is my mother, a gift from God.

            I am not so much against GMO as I am against people who actively misinform, insult, and proselytize for their cause. To ignore the problems associated with GM and, at the same time, overstate the benefits is very disingenuous. To hold some hope for a future breakthrough that will solve our problems is to hold false hope in my opinion.
            We have all we need right now. We could solve problems together but we have become fragmented.

            I see GM as yet another way we naively muck around in things we don’t understand. We are a part of nature, a huge and incomprehensible web of relationships. We should be humble and observant.
            How many of today’s scientific triumphs have become tomorrow’s human catastrophes?
            Let’s find better ways based on how nature does things. They exist already.

          • Panoptes

            Well, I’m glad my comment came across as intended. I think your heart is in the right place and your intentions honorable. Our perspectives are just a little different, perhaps. I do agree that adherents of both sides of this issue, so much as it is an issue, tend too easily to succumb to confirmation bias, adopt intolerant stances and somehow resist entering respectful, productive dialogue.

            I am trying to reconcile your statement that you are not so much against GMO but the tactics of some adherents against your other statements that seem to be a bit more forceful against GMO’s. Is it simply that you feel GM foods are somehow unnatural and suspicious of biotechnology in general?

            Your sentiments about being part of a huge web of relationships and the virtue of being humble and observant I agree with 100%, no question. And I also agree the web of Life and the Cosmos as a whole is probably beyond human comprehension but I definitely think we can understand large portions of these interlocking connections. I would contend that the scientific enterprise has been the engine of progress in improving the human condition and biotechnology is fundamentally inspired and driven by nature, just as you prescribe. We know nature constantly transfers genetic material, even between species. In the past few years we have learned how our own human genome has incorporated genes from our microbiota, the bacteria in our gut vital to healthy functioning. Our biotechnology can just do what nature does _with precision_. When you say we naively muck around in things we don’t understand, I say, emphatically, yes! That is a great, maybe somewhat crude, way to describe science! We love to muck around so that we CAN understand! And we’ve become quite good at developing a sound methodology for doing so.

            Our species has been so successful and we have gotten so far precisely because we are inherently curious and restless, since the first Homo species, Homo habilis, began experimenting with crafting stones into useful tools. The Oldowan technology was just the beginning. We simply cannot stop innovating, sometimes with negative consequences, but we always learn and move forward. We occupy such a small segment of time on the arc of the human enterprise.

            This is the perspective I bring that colors my view of the issue. It is my bias which I name so it does not blind me. I am fortunate to have two degrees in biology and can critically assess the primary literature. I am very comfortable with the scientific soundness and safety of GM foods now. But I will tell you this, if I start to see solid, tested evidence to the contrary build up, I will gladly change my opinion and stand with you against GMO’s.

            I would ask you what would change your mind and allow you to adopt a more endorsing position?

          • WeGotta

            Clear and concise, thank you.
            “Is it simply that you feel GM foods are somehow unnatural and suspicious of biotechnology in general?”

            Mostly, I am suspicious of things that consolidate power from the many to the few. I think it’s folly to trust our food to large publicly traded corporations who’s motives are returns on investment and profit. I think it’s unwise to rely on large centralized farms and a vast transportation network to bring food to our homes. I think it’s unwise to allow something as vital as food to be subject to the whims of global trade, stock markets and hedge funds.

            I am suspicious of the pesticides and herbicides that go hand in hand with GMO crops. Things that are scientifically true today are false tomorrow when new information is discovered. Science (unfortunately) is under siege from political ideologues and monied interests. The editor of the Lancet recently decried the fact that most of the things that pass through his journal could be classified as “junk science” devoid of true rigor. So I won’t blindly accept anything “scientists” say today for it will surely change in the future.

            Even if it was “safe” for human consumption, what about the innumerable microscopic life, insects and other creatures that are affected by large scale agriculture? Are we somehow better than them? Do we deserve the title of supreme organism? Are we entitled to wipe out whole species of insects or plants because we deem them as a nuisance? What do we do as a species that deserves any kind of special place in nature?

            I have seen and been part of different methods of food production. Permaculture is a good example. It works with nature instead of against it. It enhances biodiversity instead of creating huge swaths of dead earth. It creates more abundant, secure, varied and nutritious food than does mono cropping. It improves soil instead of destroying it. It also provides for better and cheaper energy production, water management and food production. It creates an opportunity to raise animals in a more humane way. The list is truly endless.

            I would like to challenge your assertion that our species has “been successful and gotten so far”.
            How do you measure success? Is it that we are numerous, or that we are dominant? This is how a cancer would describe success maybe.
            Sure, our lifespan has increased. Mostly from advances related to childbirth and infancy, sanitation, antibiotics, and trauma surgery.
            What about our happiness? What about joy, peace, love? Have these increased lately?
            Most people I know are working in dead end jobs with no security, up to their eyeballs in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, spending most of their waking hours at work or preparing for work, and wasting the rest of their short lives life watching TV and tiny glass screens in their free time. We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have just to throw them away after a few months because stuff can never bring joy and peace.
            We are violent and selfish as a whole. We waste money inventing better ways of killing each other while others starve. We pollute our life giving water just to buy it back a plastic bottle. Is this success? Is this progress?

            I see GMO as yet another way we distance ourselves from nature. I heard about some young kid just the other day who said it was not until he was 16 when he actually realized he was an animal and part of the natural world. Can you imagine that?
            But why should this be a surprise since we have forgotten how fragile is our life and our planet. How fragile is our society built up and dependent on a rapidly depleted energy source. What do we do when we can’t drive our cars or our trucks? What do we do when food is no longer delivered conveniently to the supermarkets?

            What would change my mind? Maybe if I saw more people acting from love, humility and gratitude instead of from hate, greed, hubris and fear.

            In the end it’s all okay. I don’t need the world to conform to my view since that need would surely create an unhappy life.
            GMO or not, I will live and die like everything in nature.

          • Panoptes

            Thanks for the thoughtful reply: it has been interesting discovering your perspective. It almost sounds like you have given up on humanity and have adopted a very cynical view of modern civilization. Perhaps your stance against GMO’s isn’t against GMO’s per se, which you have even alluded to before, but instead rooted in your personal philosophy, a logical consequence of a wider rejection or distrust of modern science, politics, economics and corporate governance. Does that sound about right?

            So I circle back to my earlier contention. You are quite fortunate to have the choices and resources you do and to have the choice to reject GM food as a matter of principle and personal preference. But are you really justified to denounce the use of GM food for everyone else? Don’t you think, in principle, GMO’s can at least be one part of the solution? Are you saying GM foods are inappropriate for all people everywhere in the world?

            That was what I mainly wanted to ask you in this comment but I would also like to expand just a bit on your challenge (which I welcome) regarding my comment that we have come so far. We measure the success of other species by their ability to adapt to their environment and thrive, true? So why not our own? On that basic level, Homo sapiens is extremely successful. But beyond that, yes, we can say we have come far in terms of longevity and quality of life through our use of energy sources, farming and medicine. But more importantly, I see how much we have accomplished in terms of knowledge and understanding and how we organize and relate to each other. Consider the richness of literature, music, philosophy, science, engineering, law, education and medicine. We humans, as a self-conscious species, and the civilization we have built represent a level of complexity that as far as we know is unique in the universe. That is astounding and we have, in my view, a moral responsibility to protect and continue that development. Next week the New Horizons probe makes its fly-by of the dwarf planet Pluto on the outer fringes of the solar system. How can one not be excited about that and what it represents? I say we have come so far because it wasn’t that long ago we were living on the edge of survival, living short, harsh lives, struggling to just keep alive every day. And then, about 10,000 years ago, the glaciers retreated and our ancestors began the agricultural revolution, laying the foundation for all of civilization. And now today, with our advances in biotechnology, we continue what was begun, continuing the great unfolding story of humanity.

            I completely agree with you that with our achievements and advances, we also have a responsibility to the rest of the body of Life, even if it requires a slower pace of progress. I agree, we must work to preserve biodiversity and minimize our disruptive impact. But it is impossible to change our nature and simply stop. Life itself is built on disruption and adaptation. Our only choice, I believe, is to continue developing in a thoughtful, measured manner. Only now, being interconnected on a global scale can we even begin to
            try to coordinate ourselves effectively. This is an exciting time, indeed.

          • WeGotta

            Thanks for a stimulating, thought-provoking conversation without accusations or misrepresentations.
            “It almost sounds like you have given up on humanity and have adopted a very cynical view of modern civilization”
            This couldn’t be further from the truth.
            I am blessed with consciousness and life and I benefit from countless (though I try count them often) gifts everyday. Gifts that I did nothing to deserve.
            When I see the world this way (I would argue as it really is), I am filled with joy and peace. In this instance, right now, I am complete. I need nothing, want for nothing and am free from suffering.

            I don’t distrust “modern science, politics, economics and corporate governance” because these are only concepts. These are only words we use to describe things.
            If “modern science” leads to peace, happiness or less human suffering (as if frequently does), I say thank you. Thank you!
            If “modern science” leads to sickness, destruction and suffering (as it frequently does), I say stop. Stop and think!

            Same for the rest on that list.

            You ask “But are you really justified to denounce the use of GM food for everyone else? Don’t you think, in principle, GMO’s can at least be one part of the solution? Are you saying GM foods are inappropriate for all people everywhere in the world?”

            The word “justified” is an interesting choice. Had to think about that. The less common definition is: “declared or made righteous in the sight of God”. I am righteous in the site of God but I don’t think that really answers your question.

            So I would say I am no more or less justified than a scientist, a housewife, a politician, a homeless person, a bird or a bacterium.
            I wouldn’t stop anyone from developing it, eating it or anything else. This is just life expressing itself.
            Can GM be part of the solution? Of course! GM is just a technology, a tool. It’s in the application of this tool that I see problems.
            Specifically, if the application of the tool leads to more suffering than it alleviates or if the faith in future technology blinds us to the realities of right NOW.

            I love all the examples of human triumphs you list and I share your supreme wonder and joy.
            If you will, another challenge. When you think about these things we have accomplished, when New Horizons flies by Pluto, what is it that you feel or will feel? What makes these things, like literature, music and poetry, so wonderful to you?

          • Panoptes

            Please forgive the long delays in my responses; the time demands
            of work and family are hefty. Agreed! It is refreshing to engage in a respectful exchange of ideas on a complex issue without it devolving into spiteful tactics. You are obviously at peace with Life and in a fortunate circumstance of which you show great awareness and appreciation. I salute you in that, indeed.

            I am now seeing that at root of the issue at hand is your concern in how the technology is used, not so much in its existence or development. A policy issue more than a science issue, perhaps, acknowledging there is much overlap between them. I strongly feel this is the right approach and focus for debate. Perhaps a proper analogy is in uranium enrichment. It can be used to power our cities….or destroy them, but the technology itself is neutral. I think biotechnology is a genie that can’t be put back in the bottle, so we better focus on how we are using it, rather than if.

            New Horizons is special to me because it was launched from Earth (after over a decade of planning) the same year my oldest son was born. Considering the speed at which the probe is racing through our solar system, and the time it has taken, the vast distance involved, really incomprehensible to the human brain, becomes slightly more tangible. I am amazed at how we can engineer such a sophisticated craft like New Horizon with its many instruments, how our understanding of physics allows us to launch such a device on a complicated trajectory, using other planets for gravity assists and propelling the craft to rendezvous with the distant body which is itself in motion. I am encouraged at the international effort involved, bringing people together from around the world. Also for the long-term planning and foresight required. A skill that could be beneficially applied to other areas, like fiscal policy! I don’t know if you knew this, but New Horizon contains a small vial with 1 ounce of the cremated remains of Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto. There is an unspoken poetry to the fact his mortal remains will get to fly over the surface of his discovery. Of course, the story of that discovery is its own inspiration. We humans are explorers and always have been. We explore the natural world as well as the mindspace of ideas. So in answer to your question about NH and the other uniquely human inventions, I feel pride in humanity, when it is at its best, for the things we can accomplish and add to the experience of the Universe, of which we are but an outgrowth.

          • WeGotta

            Absolutely wonderful.

            Through the work of others you know your son in a more complete and special way. Through you and your perspective I know joy more completely now. This joy will live on as I check on the progress of New Horizon on it’s journey (something of which I had no knowledge of before). Have you ever thought about writing about this for a wider audience?

            We are explorers for sure. Religion is a way to explore as is art and culture. No less important than science.

            “I strongly feel this is the right approach and focus for debate.” Thank you. It is the only “sane way”. Any other way is clouded by ego or a false notion of “what is” and is thus doomed to fail.

            No apologies are needed by me from you. I feel nothing but gratitude for having interacted with you.

            Please take this gratitude and give it to your family for me. Love them by knowing them. Know them by seeing them NOW, as they are without judgement or illusions. This is to love as God loves.

          • WeGotta

            “I feel pride in humanity, when it is at its best, for the things we can accomplish and add to the experience of the Universe, of which we are but an outgrowth”
            Exactly! That’s why the Universe (or God) made (created, evolved) us. To know itself better. You cannot know light without darkness. You cannot know immortality without knowing what it is to be mortal. You cannot know that you are everything unless you know what it is to be separate from everything.

            “At it’s best”. But what are we doing to ensure that we all have an accurate definition of this? Shouldn’t we start there instead of from the details and working backwards?

            What is mankind’s “best”? Science may not equipped with the tools or processes to evaluate this question (which doesn’t in any way mean science is bad).

            Why not ask religion? Why not look at other cultures (past and present) from this world. And why not other worlds that exist only in stories and people’s imaginations for that matter.

          • WeGotta

            “Perhaps a proper analogy is in uranium enrichment. It can be used to power our cities….or destroy them, but the technology itself is neutral. I think biotechnology is a genie that can’t be put back in the bottle, so we better focus on how we are using it, rather than if.”

            I agree 100%.
            So “good” or “bad”, “safe” or “unsafe”; perhaps the better questions are:
            Who decides when and where to apply this technology?
            Who benefits and who loses?
            Who controls it and why?
            etc.

          • WeGotta

            To answer another of your questions: “We measure the success of other species by their ability to adapt to their environment and thrive, true? So why not our own?”
            The ability to adapt and thrive is an incomplete definition of success I would argue.
            This infers infinite growth is good and success is merely expanding to cover the available habitat and increasing longevity and number. Again, this is a quality of a malignant cancer.
            If a weed successfully infiltrates your crop and increases in number, you might not think it a good thing. That same quality is deemed bad and justification for extinction from “your” crop via any means necessary.
            If an insect successfully increases in number and habitat all over your orchard, you may not see this as a “success” and will feel justified dooming such an insect to extinction (by any means).

            I would suggest another equally important quality is the ability to find a balance and harmony with our environment. Especially true for any organism given the gift of “consciousness” as we think of it in this culture.

          • Panoptes

            Absolutely. I concur that as a conscious species we can, and should, act to preserve biodiversity where we can. I meant for my leading statement, “We measure the success of other species by their ability to adapt to their environment and thrive” as only a starting point, a frame of reference on which to build, expand or replace. The definition works for non-human species because they are naturally constrained. Humans, however, can engineer ways to push back those contraints….to a point.

            What I find interesting is that your examples of an infiltrating weed or insect assumes a value judgement from the point of view of another species. We value our crops and orchards so the “success” of a species
            that threatens them is a bad thing, from our POV. Of course, from the POV of the weed or insect, things are going quite well!

            Extinctions are the norm for life on Earth. I don’t see them as inherently bad but indeed, an essential element of the evolutionary process. Homo sapiens, too, will eventually end. My hope is that we are not a dead-end species but that a successor species to H. sapiens continues on and continues to add novelty to the Universe. But what gives me pause is this unique point in history where a conscious species can make informed decisions that will affect so many others. Although human activity has
            caused the extinction of hundreds of species, others (many rodents and birds and domesticated animals) have flourished. The great dance of Life goes on. I don’t know if I can say its right or wrong, but I can confidently say there will be consequences we need to consider.

          • WeGotta

            I can find no problem with anything you say in this comment.

            What you say is true. Things change, that is the ultimate nature of reality. We judge the change as “bad” or “good”. Judgement of something as “good” or “bad” means non-acceptance of reality and ultimately leads to needless suffering. Things just are how they are.

            This idea is compatible with teachings from any and all religion, any culture and even (yes) with modern scientific theories. Each of these ways of seeing “what is” is blessed because understanding reality is a way to end suffering. But a microscope cannot see itself and words in a book are static (and thus not real), so we cannot confuse the tools we use for ultimate truth.

            But we need no tools to know reality (God). It can be no other way than this. It is available to anyone right now. Actions that arise out of this knowing are thus “holy”. Not good or bad because often times we think something as bad only to know later it was actually good (and vice versa). “Holy” in the sense that it fits with the ultimate reality which helps us to know this ultimate reality.

            Our current culture or way of seeing things is incomplete (generally).
            To get back on topic. We are increasingly more sick and generally unhealthy NOW. Look up the top 10 causes of death in the US and see how many are diet related. This is reality.

            Why not use the tools available (science being only one) to figure out why instead of using them to protect and preserve ego or greed?
            Our food system has serious flaws. Can anyone doubt this? To admit this does not infer blame or shame. It just confirms reality which makes it “holy”.
            From the “holy”, springs forth wisdom, peace and joy.

            Again, nothing is needed. Whether people die now or later they will die. I will die. Whether this way or that way, no difference.
            But if there is suffering, let’s try to end it if possible. Not from a sense of guilt, or a sense that something “has to be done”, but from a sense of loving compassion that can only come from knowing reality (God if that’s the word you like).

  • Are you saying you’re a lunatic? You’re commenting here…

  • Warren Lauzon

    I don’t have any WF close to me, but drove 15 miles a couple of times out of curiosity. For me the major turnoff was not the high prices, but their book/magazine sections and OTC remedies – such as “homeopathic aspirin”. Their entire book corner looks like you stepped into some new age woo factory. I saw almost zero based on any real science. That was two years ago, and have not been back since. Besides, the local (3 miles) Asian grocery store has a much wider selection of fresh fruits and veggies, plus a lot of exotics that WF does not have.

    • WeGotta

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.

      Albert Einstein

    • Very few things you can buy at WF anymore that you can’t buy elsewhere. I was never terribly impressed with any of their selections.

      • Warren Lauzon

        And I have found some exact items on the internet for as much as 40% less, such as specialty flours.

    • Duke Steele

      Plus you can get a quick accupuncture.

  • Michael McCarthy

    “Stop repeating little boy. No need for a fool like you to respond”
    Going to find something of substance to add, or just continue with the ad hominem.

  • chienblanc4csi

    What bothers me about Chipotle’s campaign most is their attitude, the fact that they clearly bite the hand that feeds them. There have been many companies in recent history whose similar campaigns have backfired when they insulted the growers and producers of their food. Chipotle just happens to be the most insulting of all of them – and the most arrogant and tenacious. They are manipulative, using cheap shots and insults that attempt to make their products seem superior to the other guy’s, implying that farmers are all lazy, cruel and greedy. Except their own “special” farmers . . . Panera tried it with chicken ranchers, and their juvenile and nasty ad campaign was pulled due to heavy criticism. When a very popular Wisconsin dairy farmer/blogger posted about the campaign, they very quietly backed off. You are so right about the typical consumer that these companies claim to care about – they don’t have a shred of knowledge of what GMO means, let alone worry about the seeds that produced those beans in their burritos as big as their head. Here’s Dairy Carrie’s response to the Panera ads: http://dairycarrie.com/2013/07/23/dear-panera-bread-company/

    • Duke Steele

      Very good. I like the link to the meat PhD. Regards.

  • Dennis Goos

    The only principle I stand on when shopping is best value for my money.

    • WeGotta

      Don’t forget to include potential future costs like chronic illnesses, medications and doctor’s visits. Most Americans will suffer and die expensively from diet related diseases.
      Pay for healthy food now and save a bunch of money in the future!

      • Boulder7777

        And just what do you think is “healthy” food and what is your standard for determining that?

        • WeGotta

          Fruits, vegetables, simple grains and nuts, meat/eggs/dairy from healthy animals. Food that has the least amount of residues if possible.

          I use science to determine what is “healthy”.
          Specifically, I observe and record data. Data such as how I feel after I eat certain foods.
          I use observational studies looking for signs of health or sickness in people followed by the collection of data about which type of foods such people tend to eat.
          I use the available historical data about food and health.
          I use current data about common and emerging diseases and ailments.
          Why, what are your “standards”?

          • That’s called anecdotes, not data. Data is when you have controls and comparative information, among other things. What you call data is what scientists call opinions.

          • WeGotta

            Yes it is data.

            Here is the root of the problem. You seem to think you have a sole proprietary rights to all things science. If anyone doubts your science you call them ignorant and talk down to them. You seem to expect nothing less than complete agreement and obedience to this warped notion of science.

            Data:
            facts or information used usually to calculate, analyze, or plan something.

            Anecdote:
            -a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
            -an account regarded as unreliable or hearsay.

  • Scott West

    My confusion stems from my understanding that every single food product available today the result of genetic modification. As far as I know, the only “natural” food is heirloom variety, and I suspect even that is suspect to some level of GMO in the past.

    • WeGotta

      Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism.
      Selective breeding: the intentional mating of two animals [or plants] in an attempt to produce offspring with desirable characteristics or for the elimination of a trait

      • RJB

        Genes move “naturally” between species that cannot mate sexually, through horizontal gene transfer. GM foods are also produced through ionizing radiation or chemical mutagenesis, as well as through polyploidy creation, all of which are allowed in organic production.

        • WeGotta

          Mutagenesis is not GM as even this website implies in one of their own articles:
          “GMOs vs. mutagenesis vs. conventional breeding: Which wins?”

          Genes moving naturally is not GM

    • Duke Steele

      Scott, you are correct. Here is the pure food the anti-gmo folks eat.

      http://www.science20.com/kevin_folta/atomic_gardening_ultimate_frankenfoods-91836

  • WeGotta

    Not from me!
    I also would rather eat stuff that has been touched as little as possible by the “technological wonders” of this age. They all too often end up being bad for you (but good for profits).
    What’s more interesting (sickening) are the people who obviously are industry plants who pose as average people, farmers and scientists and insult and deride the rest of us in comment sections.
    Cheers to you and good eating!

  • s k

    Here in Boulder, the intellectual capital of the USA, according to Forbes, many consider that Monsanto represents corrupt science.
    I agree. And I don’t care where you shop….

    • Show me your poll. The only one that counts are real votes. Boulder County and Colorado as a whole voted against mandatory labeling.

    • Ben

      “Look at me! I’m from Boulder! Boulderites are smart! I’m smart too, because Boulder!”
      Boulder may at once be one of the most educated and scientifically illiterate places in America. While the person who bags your groceries at Sprouts may have a degree in physics, you are never a long walk away from a homeopath. Vaccination rates are the lowest in Colorado. Boulder is home to Naropa “university” as well as CU. Boulder natives may drive more electric vehicles but their electricity comes predominantly from coal just like the rest of the state. I wouldn’t give any credence to anti-scientific fear-mongering about Monsanto just because it comes from the hometown of Mork and Mindy.

    • Boulder7777

      And many of us intellectuals living in Boulder don’t think like that (lockstep activist Monsanto-hating anti-science voters). Even in Boulder County, the labeling initiative was defeated.
      So while you might think Monsanto represents corrupt science, many of us Boulderites do not, and reject that hype.
      i don’t care where you shop, either. I do not shop at Hole Feuds or Alfalfa’s.

  • Happy Taffy

    Sorry but GMO would be ok as far as the pest and desease resistance is concerned but I believe Mosanto are also using GMO to make crops resistant to pesticides and weed killers so farmers can obliterate anything damaging to crops with unlimited chemicals without killing the crops. What happens to these chemicals, do they get absorbed into the resistant crop strain and into the food chain. What happens to the wildlife when all the insects disappear?

    • Vee

      Farmers don’t spray unlimited chemicals, nor do we “obliterate” every living thing in our fields. Try looking up typical use of herbicides–hint: it’s early season, before fruiting or flowering, to give the crop a chance to outcompete weeds. Once the crop is big enough the canopy closes and shades out the weeds, and no more herbicides will be used that season. Herbicide tolerant genetics have made no-till and other conservation tillage systems easier to implement across a wider number of acres, which is great for soil health, conservation, and clean water.

      Also look up IPM (integrated pest management). We use beneficial insect populations in our favor and will only spray for pest insects when their numbers reach a certain economic threshold. It’s all very sciency, based on research that works in the real world. Bt reduces the amount of insecticide we have to spray, and lets us use less toxic ones when we do.

    • Duke Steele

      Happy, conventional and organic growers use weedkillers and pesticides too. Farmers of all stripes spray only when they must. By the way the neonics ban in parts of Europe has backfired, forcing farmers to use more harmful sprays.

  • Well said. I avoid both

  • Dave Ottens

    Advertising exists to create an artificial distinction between similar products. With that distinction the advertiser can trumpet, “food without GMO is healthier” or some such nonsense.
    ALL foods marketed in the US contain GMO content. An apple as known in 1776 would not be palatable and wheat fields would fail due to rust. We’ve been modifying genetics since we started farming!
    “Organic” foods are a similar artificial distinction. The producers may not use one pesticide, but they treat for the pests somehow.

  • Amber

    FYI Trader Joe’s brand food doesn’t contain GMOs because they believe that their customers prefer food made without GMOs, but the items they sell might be GMO. The below was copied from the Trader Joe’s fact page. Sounds almost like whole foods, no?

    Trader Joe’s Products are sourced from Non-GMO ingredients.

    Our efforts began in 2001, when we determined that, given a choice, our customers would prefer to eat foods and beverages made without the use of genetically engineered ingredients. When developing products containing ingredients likely to come from genetically modified sources, we have the supplier of the product perform the necessary research to provide documentation that the suspect ingredients are from non-GMO sources. This documentation is in the form of affidavits, identity-preserved certification of seed stock, and third-party lab results from testing of the ingredients in question. In addition to this work done in developing a given item, we conduct random audits of items with potentially suspect ingredients, using an outside, third-party lab to perform the testing.

    Given our position on GMO ingredients in Trader Joe’s label products, and the work done in support of that position, it is our expectation that our products test as non-GMO. We’re unable to make the same claims for branded products (products not in the Trader Joe’s label).

    We are also unable to confirm that animal products (meat, dairy and some farmed fish) sold under the Trader Joe’s label are raised on only non-GMO feed, due to the prevalence of GMOs in the commodity grain market, and the limited availability of verified non-GMO feed. For customers looking to avoid products from animals fed GMOs, we continue to carry organic meat and dairy products (organic standards prohibit the intentional use of GMOs) and wild-caught seafood. All organic products, regardless of brand, are by definition non-GMO.

    *Genetic Modification is a technique that changes the genetic makeup of cells, producing new combinations of genes and traits that do not occur in nature. Plants and animals that have been altered in this way are called GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, or GE, genetically engineered.

  • picolo

    Looks like baby should have done her research before posting a ridiculous waste of internet space. Have you done your research? Science wise its terrific that we can manipulate food, but did you know that its harmful to the environment and is not sustainable? Did you know that GE crops affect soil fertility? Good luck growing crops to feed the world after that. Did you also know that the some components in the GE crops are killing off bees at an alarming rate that could have disastrous effects (food chain etc)?

    Don’t let these articles manipulate you. Its not about “stopping science” its about allowing sustainability on earth to continue.

    Remember how when plastic was invented it was great because it had so much potential for commercial use. But some “hippies” were worried about the harmful effects of being exposed to plastic, they’re crazy right? Plastic is great! It has so many uses! Its a must and we can’t live without it! Oh…right…didn’t we just discover that the BPA in plastic causes infertility and other unfortunate diseases?

    After the outcries, plastic companies are now finding alternatives, such as the plant-bottles coca cola is unveiling (soon?), or lining the inside of tin cans with a vegetable lining to make it BPA free.

    Science invented something —> People realized something was wrong and disastrous with their invention —> Companies spent years ignoring it —–> studies surfaced, people became aware —–> change happened and science was used to fix the problem.

    That’s how it works. We’ve got to ban or find a safe alternative to farming or. we’re. fucked. Heck if you’re a scientist, are you that incompetent that you can’t use your knowledge to find a safe alternative? Oh right you’re getting paid big bucks to destroy the planet.

    Thank you,
    DO YOUR RESEARCH

  • picolo

    Looks like baby deleted my comment. That means baby knows she was wrong and it makes me very happy to see this defeat 😀

    Thank you,
    Did you do your research like I told you?

  • babycakes

    Looks like baby keeps deleting my comments. Did baby do her research yet?

  • Tori Wells

    Its unfortunate to see that you are unaware of the true impact gmo’s are having. I can see why you, and many people are praising gmo’s. In theory its incredible that we are able to manipulate growth and structures of produce to yield and repel what we want it to. However, this is when “too good to be true” comes into play.

    Genetically engineered crops ruin the soil they grow in. It would be impossible to fulfill gmo’s “promise” to be able to feed the world, when the soil they use becomes infertile and useless.

    Genetically engineered crops are ruining bee populations. As the bees pollinate, the pesticides in the gmo crops are having a drastic effect on them. Neonicotinoid pesticides kill honeybees by damaging their immune system, making them unable to fight diseases and bacteria. Seeing as a third of everything we eat is pollinated by bees, if bees die, our food supply dies as well. We would loose things such as: grapes, tomatoes, apples, coffee, etc.

    How come when we become aware of the dangers of new technologies, we’re deemed “crazy” or “uneducated idiots”.

    Remember when plastic was the hot new product (circa 1950s)? It was everywhere because it was durable, affordable and able to be used anywhere. Then people started realizing that the BPA from the plastic was causing health problems, like infertility. For years these studies and people were deemed “crazy” In recent years we started getting rid of BPA because everyone started becoming aware of its dangers.

    Look at Coke for example. They hopped off the plastic bandwagon, and created a new bottle made from entirely from plants (to be released soon). Look how easy it was for them to improve their old product, to something more eco-friendly.

    People involved with the creation of GMOs should realize their mistake and work to create a newer less harmful technology, or work with organic farmers to help create something that will increase workflow, and yield more product. Weather its creating a non toxic pesticide (working with sound waves to repel insects) or re configuring the current set up (vertical farming has been known to be beneficial). We have to incorporate science and nature to work in synergy, one can’t overpower the other otherwise we will be stunting not only scientific freedom, but also and most importantly basic natural rights.

  • Tori Wells

    Its unfortunate to see that you are unaware of the true impact gmo’s are having. I can see why you, and many people are praising gmo’s. In theory its incredible that we are able to manipulate growth and structures of produce to yield and repel what we want it to. However, this is when “too good to be true” comes into play.

    Genetically engineered crops ruin the soil they grow in. It would be impossible to fulfill gmo’s “promise” to be able to feed the world, when the soil they use becomes infertile and useless.

    Genetically engineered crops are ruining bee populations. As the bees pollinate, the pesticides in the gmo crops are having a drastic effect on them. Neonicotinoid pesticides kill honeybees by damaging their immune system, making them unable to fight diseases and bacteria. Seeing as a third of everything we eat is pollinated by bees, if bees die, our food supply dies as well. We would loose things such as: grapes, tomatoes, apples, coffee, etc.

    How come when we become aware of the dangers of new technologies, we’re deemed “crazy” or “uneducated idiots”.

    Remember when plastic was the hot new product (circa 1950s)? It was everywhere because it was durable, affordable and able to be used anywhere. Then people started realizing that the BPA from the plastic was causing health problems, like infertility. For years these studies and people were deemed “crazy” In recent years we started getting rid of BPA because everyone started becoming aware of its dangers.

    Look at Coke for example. They hopped off the plastic bandwagon, and created a new bottle made from entirely from plants (to be released soon). Look how easy it was for them to improve their old product, to something more eco-friendly.

    People involved with the creation of GMOs should realize their mistake and work to create a newer less harmful technology, or work with organic farmers to help create something that will increase workflow, and yield more product. Weather its creating a non toxic pesticide (working with sound waves to repel insects) or re configuring the current set up (vertical farming has been known to be beneficial). We have to incorporate science and nature to work in synergy, one can’t overpower the other otherwise we will be stunting not only scientific freedom, but also and most importantly basic natural rights.

  • jbut355

    Conservatives belittled Whole Foods for catering to liberal elites, praised its CEO for opposing Obamacare, and now distance themselves due to its GMO stance. Let’s see where Ms. Kelly and her cohort stand in a couple years.